Ryan Gannon

rgannon1@bryant.edu

Hi, I'm Ryan Gannon and I'm a sophomore from Litchfield, Connecticut. I'm a Global Supply Chain Management major and an Environmental Science Minor. I also love to run and am a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams here at Bryant. Thanks for reading!


Parents & Family Weekend: 2014

October 26th, 2014

Every fall, the university dedicates one weekend to the parents and families of Bryant's students. Events are held on campus from Friday afternoon through Sunday, and the bulk of the festivities take place on Saturday.

For most freshmen, college is their first experience with spending a long time away from home and their families. This weekend gives everyone a chance to relax, unwind, and catch up with loved ones that they may not have seen since August or early September.

The events go on all weekend, which gives families the opportunity to pick and choose what they want to attend and spend the rest of their time as they please. Some of the events include the President's and Dean's List Receptions and a State of the University address presented by our school's President, Ronald Machtley. This year also featured a Caribbean themed lunch and a performance of The Importance of Being Earnest put on by our drama club, the Bryant Players. And once again the Bulldogs football team pulled out a home victory against conference rivals Robert Morris.

bryant-football.JPG

bryant-football-2.JPG

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Study Abroad Decision!

October 19th, 2014

A few posts ago, I wrote about the process of applying to study abroad. Since then, I have submitted my application and will officially be spending this upcoming spring semester in Berlin, Germany!

The study abroad office has worked incredibly well to make the process go smoothly and sort everything out with CIEE, the program provider. At this stage I am getting classes approved so that I can get credit for Bryant classes while abroad (this is actually much easier than I anticipated).

berlin.jpg

The idea of studying abroad is very exciting - it's hard to believe that soon I'll be spending four months in a foreign country. I know it will be a huge challenge; navigating public transportation, learning the language, traveling on my own, and even living in an apartment and cooking for myself will be totally new experiences for me. But with all those challenges I know that I will learn and grow quite a bit, and that's really why I'm going.

 Thanks for reading,

Ryan

The Supply Chain Management Major

October 14th, 2014

Bryant University is well-known for its excellence in business education. To most, that means concentrating in accounting, management, finance, marketing or the like. But my guess is that very few people, if any, think of Bryant's concentration in Global Supply Chain Management. In fact, many people aren't even aware that it's a field of study.

I recently declared my major in Supply Chain management. When people ask me what I study and I tell them that, I get one of two reactions. Many people look at me with a confused expression and ask, "What is that?" or "That's really a major?" The rest are people are those who are aware of the growing supply chain management field, and they light up and begin raving about what a great choice I've made.

Essentially, a supply chain starts when raw materials are harvested from the earth. It then includes all the activities of production, operations, transportation,  selling, etc. until the finished good is in the consumer's hand. To put it simply, a supply chain manager is in charge of making sure that all of these activities run smoothly and efficiently. As the Bryant academics site explains it:

"You will learn to integrate the key functions of marketing, logistics, operations management, computer information systems, accounting, and finance. You will span traditional business functionality and explore relationships that create value for multiple stakeholders across functions, organizations, and nations" (http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/courses-of-study/global-supply-chain-management.htm).

In today's economy, the demand for qualified supply chain managers is growing rapidly. At the same time, however, a degree in supply chain management is not entirely common yet, so those who have one are very appealing to potential employers. I may be biased, so you can also take it from the Wall Street Journal, which mentions Bryant specifically for its up-and-coming supply chain program in this article:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324423904578523591792789054

I've also joined the university's club, the Society for Global Supply Chain Management, which does an incredible job of bringing in guest speakers, organizing site visits and educating its members on their options with the major. I spoke with a few of the junior and senior members of the club about their experiences. All of them had held internship positions with large, exciting companies. And, to quote one senior, "companies are literally throwing jobs at us." Sounds good to me.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Bryant@Night: DODGEBALL

October 5th, 2014

Bryant@Night is one of the many great organizations on campus that puts on popular programs and events for students. These events are typically held on Friday and Saturday nights. They often offer something fun to do for those looking for something fun to do on campus: past examples have included pumpkin carving, and a workshop to design lights for your dorm room. In other cases, the events get a little intense. Students bring their A-game for things like FIFA and Halo tournaments, Laser Tag and, in the case of this past Friday, dodgeball.

dodgeball-2.png (Above: My teammates Ryan and RJ holding down the fort in sudden death.)

It's clear that the word about dodgeball has gotten out around campus. I went last year and had fun with several other teams, but this year was the real deal. About 10 teams of students in groups of 5 to 7 came pumped up and ready to play. Win or lose, everyone gets into it and has an awesome time. The tournament is also great for bringing people together and giving you the chance to meet other students that you might not meet otherwise. What better way to make friends than to throw balls at them in a competitive game of dodgeball?

To give you a better idea of what Bryant@Night provides, here is a link to their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/bryantatnight

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Studying Abroad: Taking the First Step

September 28th, 2014

Most college students, at some point in their academic careers, say that they would like to spend a semester studying in another country. Unfortunately, it is an adventure that most never end up taking.

I am personally in the process of deciding where I want to spend my own semester abroad, but I will discuss that more in a later post. I will say that Bryant's study abroad office has been absolutely invaluable in facilitating every step in the process thus far.

I've spoken with several students who have studied abroad, all of whom have been more than happy to share their experiences with me. I also have yet to hear one negative sentiment about a semester abroad.

The advisors have also been indispensable at every corner. The study abroad specific advisors are incredibly knowledgeable about all the programs, and have actually traveled to many of the locations themselves and can give first-hand experience to help you choose a country.

Bryant is partnered with nine program providers, each of which offer unique opportunities all over the world. You could choose one of the more traditional options and study in a beautiful city in Spain or Italy. You could hone your Spanish skills while living with a host family in a South America. You could step way outside your comfort zone and learn in an Asian or African country, or you could go to one of the many other locations all over Europe. In all, locations are offered in over 50 countries, so you won't be short on options.

Personally, I was somewhat torn while making the decision to go abroad. I was reluctant partly because I love Bryant and I want to take advantage of every semester I have here. On the other hand, however, there may never be another chance to spend four months living in another country, and the experience will be something that can't be matched otherwise. So where ever you end up, I urge you to consider taking the opportunity to study abroad.

The link below provides more information on Bryant University's study abroad program.

http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/study-abroad/

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Going Off Campus: Providence

September 21st, 2014

I can honestly say that the Bryant campus feels like home to me. It offers everything I could ask for: a tight-knit community with plenty of friendly faces, a great environment to learn and expand in, as well as plenty to do so I'm never bored. With that said, it never hurts to have a change of scenery available. Whether you need a break from studying on campus, or just want a meal from somewhere other than the dining hall, Providence is always a great (and close) destination.

Getting there is never a problem, either. Even freshmen are allowed to have cars on campus,  so if you don't have your own, I guarantee one of your friends will. If not, you can always take the RIPTA. The RIPTA is Rhode Island's public transportation system, which sends a bus right from campus to the heart of downtown Providence about every 45 minutes. This is a perfectly viable alternative to taking a car and, in my opinion, is even better: you don't have to worry about parking, and as a student you ride for free.

Providence is home to several colleges, included among them Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. As a result the city exudes a youthful and artistic vibe where visiting students fit right in. The huge Providence Place Mall is a favorite destination of Bryant students, as well as Thayer Street, a road lined with restaurants and coffee shops that's always bustling with a young crowd.

prov-mural.JPG

I took this picture during my last trip to Providence. The mural was designed by a famous artist and entrepreneur, who actually got his start as a street artist in Providence. Pieces of art like these can be seen everywhere and add to the characteristic charm of the city.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan

Homecoming Pep Rally

September 15th, 2014

This past weekend marked Bryant University's Homecoming. During these days, many alumni from past graduating classes return to campus to reunite with former classmates and take in the changes the campus has seen over the years.

The main event of Homecoming weekend is always Saturday's football game. The night before the game, however, all of the student-athletes and much of the student body gather by the pond in the center of campus for the pep rally. At this year's rally, we heard from each of the fall sports teams' captains about their upcoming seasons,  followed by performances from Bryant's cheerleaders and dance team.

pep-rally.jpg

Per school tradition, the pep rally was finished off with a massive bonfire in the middle of the pond, lit by our own President Machtley, and an incredible display of fireworks going off above the Unistructure.

The pep rally is a great way to get pumped for the fall sports season and boost Bulldog pride. The next day Bryant football took down UMaine in an exciting 13-10 game.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan

Lessons Learned from Freshman Year

May 9th, 2014

As my first year at Bryant comes to a close, I've found myself reflecting on all the exciting things I've done, the new experiences I've had, and the amazing people I've met. I can say without a doubt that it's been one of the best years of my life, and I couldn't be happier to have chosen Bryant. But there are also some things I could have done differently, or that I wish I had known beforehand. Looking back, here are the lessons I've learned from my freshman year at Bryant University:

  1. Appreciate good weather when you have it. Frankly, the winter can really drag on. After a month of the cold and snow, I found myself wishing I had been more appreciative of the nice weather at the beginning of the year. Be grateful for it when it's there, and take advantage of it to spend time outside and enjoy the beauty of the campus.
  2. fountain.JPG
  3. Take some trips off campus. Despite the breathtaking beauty of Bryant's campus, a change of scenery never hurts. Sometimes it's good to take a trip somewhere, if only to break the monotony of doing schoolwork. Everyone (including freshmen) is allowed to have a car on campus, so it usually isn't hard to get a ride - and if not, you can always take advantage of the free RIPTA bus system. This past weekend my friends and I spent a day in Newport doing the cliff walk and looking at the historic mansions, and it was a great way for us all to unwind and get our minds off finals for a while.
  4. newportcliff.JPG
  5. Befriend your neighbors. Get to know the people that live on your floor. I've been living near the same people for a whole year, but I'm just now getting to know them and realize what awesome people they are. Leave your door open, and make an effort to find something in common with everyone you talk to... You live on the same floor, that's a start. If you don't do this, you'll find yourself regretting it by the end of the year. Trust me on this one.
  6. Bring a suit. With all the opportunities, you'll need it.
  7. citytarget.jpg
  8. Freshman year will be a learning experience. No matter who you are or how prepared you are, you will be faced with challenges and intimidating new experiences. You may have trouble adjusting to the academics or living with a roommate, or it might just be the first time you've had to do your own laundry. The bottom line is that everyone has to adjust, so no matter what you are going through just remember that you're surrounded by hundreds of kids going through the same thing, and a few thousand that went through it before you. The Bryant community and all its resources will be there to get you through it, and before you know it you'll be well adjusted to life as a Bulldog.
-

Freshman year flies by. And from what I hear, every year goes by quicker than the last. So above all, make sure you enjoy it.

Best of luck.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Housing Selection

May 2nd, 2014

One of the most exciting parts of the past few weeks has been selecting where my friends and I will live next year. As a freshman, you live in one of three freshman halls, two of which are traditional dormitories where you will typically live with one roommate, or you may select to be in a quad. These halls have two bathrooms shared by the floor. The third freshman hall offers suite-style living, where several double bedrooms are connected to a common room and a bathroom for that suite alone is included.

My favorite feature of the freshman halls is that each of them has a common room for the entire hall with a couches, tables, a TV and ping pong tables. These are great places to socialize, get some work done and meet new people in your hall.

Just about every sophomore and junior goes on to live in the suite village, before moving on to a townhouse senior year. The suites in the village typically consist of three double bedrooms connected to a common room and a bathroom.

hall-17.jpg

You get to select where you live, and while preference is given based on credits and seniority, I have yet to meet someone who wasn't pleased with their new home.

Part of why I selected Bryant is that a huge majority of the student body lives on campus, a  fact that really speaks to the school's tight-knit community atmosphere.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Surviving Finals

April 28th, 2014

As a second semester freshman, I've already gone through the gauntlet of finals week once. I made some mistakes, but I learned a lot from them and know what to expect for the finals to come. Here are the lessons I learned and the tips I feel are most important:

  1. Invest in a monthly calendar. Use it to mark down when you have your finals as well as important due dates. I didn't do this last semester,  and led to me doing a lot of last minute work. Having all your due dates laid out in one place helps keep you on track. calendar.png
  2. Sleep! Many students pull all-nighters or stay up really late studying, only to be too groggy or tired to focus during the actual exam. Manage your time right, and a good night's rest trumps last minute studying every time. study.jpg
  3. Get outside or hit the gym. This is especially important during first semester finals, when it's cold out and people spend most of their time cooped up inside. I know if I hadn't been running during finals week I would never have been able to focus. Speaking from experience, exercise clears your mind and will make you feel far more productive.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Ryan